When kids come home after school to play, they’ll sometimes go straight for the video games or toy sets that don’t leave much room for creativity. But playtime should be a time when kids further develop their skills and it’s a time for learning. We should encourage our kids to use their creativity during playtime and there are several ways we can enhance their play to stimulate their development.
1. Provide open-ended toys
Have you ever bought a toy for your child and found that they had more fun playing with the empty box? Sometimes the simpler an item is, the more fun your child can have because the sky is the limit when you have a wild imagination. Building blocks, dress up clothes, and even items around the house let your child use his/her imagination to bring the toys to life.
2. Invite friends over
When you let your kids invite some friends over for playtime, they’ll really be working their imaginations to come up with interesting games. They probably won’t even play so much with the toys, but rather use them as props for their own stories. One day they might be pirates searching for treasure; the next day they might be superheroes trying to save the day. When it comes to creativity, two heads are better than one!
3. Set up an art station
Arts & crafts is a wonderful activity for keeping kids entertained while also inspiring them to get creative. Try setting up an art station in your child’s playroom filled with paper, crayons, markers, stickers, popsicle sticks, pom poms, glue, scissors, etc. Let them go crazy while channeling their inner Picasso.
4. Play with your kids
If your kids are complaining of boredom, join them for playtime and start an imaginative game yourself. Make up a story and have them finish it or let them go into your closet and pick out some pretend play costumes. They’ll love that mom or dad is playing with them and they’ll follow your lead.
5. Accept the mess
When kids are using their imaginations and just having fun, they tend to make a bit of a mess. Instead of trailing after them and cleaning up, embrace the mess. Take it as a sign of healthy, developmentally beneficial play and join right in!
Written by Alicia Overby - Founder & President of Baby Elephant Ears
Alicia is wife, mother, and creator of Baby Elephant Ears. Baby Elephant Ears was created out of parental concern, not financial desire. In 2005, when their second child was an infant, he cried all the time and just couldn't seem to get comfortable.
After seeking advice and suggestion from the medical community and alternative medicine, they eventually ended up in the chiropractors office where their baby was successfully treated for a subluxation, discomfort most likely the result of the strain during labor, which was now being exacerbated by the normal lack of infant neck strength. Only proper neck, head, and back alignment would offer him relief. When they couldn't find a product to give their baby the necessary support, Alicia took matters into her own hands and crafted her own infant support pillow. The first Baby Elephant Ears was born!
For more information, visit www.babyelephantears.com.